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tv   Key Capitol Hill Hearings  CSPAN  November 18, 2013 7:00pm-9:01pm EST

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carolyn morthold was raped in a bar on the grounds of the manager barracks in washington, d.c. earlier this year she testified in an article 32 proceeding against her alleged attacker. accord according to her -- quote -- "the overall experience was painful. it was the first time since the night of the rape i actually saw the man who hurt me. it was terrifying. it was uncomfortable. i felt dehumanized. i felt i was being made out a liar and blamed for everything that happened to me. the intimidation, the tactics, the blaming, all in front of the man who raped me were completely overwhelming." and she supports this bipartisan amendment to reform article 32. she says people don't come forward because they know they're going to be revictimmized, so they walk away. and i am just very pleased that we have strong bipartisan support.
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i know we have a very big debate going on, and everybody is torn asunder on the other issue of whether to keep the prosecution decisions and the chain of command for serious offenses, but on this one, limiting the scope of article 32, we have broad support, and i even have support, i'm proud to say, of chairman levin and senator inhofe has helped. we have a tremendous group of people who have -- who have helped us. we will have these proceedings presided over by a military lawyer, when possible. the proceedings are going to be recorded. we will prevent victims from being forced to testify in these proceedings. they can have alternative forms of testimony instead. so these are the basic commonsense reforms. and i'm very happy to say that with the strong support we have from so many on both sides of the aisle and with the support
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of chairman levin, i feel very positive, but to get this done, to stop this revictimmization of people who are just distraught by having been attacked and raped and brutally hurt, we need a bill to come up and we don't need oks to moving forward. we need to move forward with this bill, and i really hope we can. this article 32 reform brings us all together. it brings claire mccaskill and kirsten gillibrand, it brings senator graham and myself. it's just a very bipartisan reform, and there are already several reforms in this bill that we're very proud of, and senator mikulski is organizing us tomorrow to talk about those reforms. this is one more that we can add. and in closing my remarks tonight, i want to take on the issue of the gillibrand amendment, number 2099. i am so very proud to stand here
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in support of kirsten gillibrand's amendment, and with a very bipartisan group of colleagues. colleagues that perhaps don't agree on much. when i'm on the same side with ted cruz, that's something, right? when kirsten gillibrand is on the same side as rand paul, that's quite something. and it goes on and on down the line. we have senator grassley's support. by the way, 17 of the 20 women support the gillibrand amendment. i hope that's a message. that is the right way to go. and i'm going to explain it. now, my involvement in this is deep and long. 20 years ago, we were all outraged to learn that nearly 100 women and men had been sexually harassed and assaulted by a group of naval aviators during a convention of the tailhook association. i think a lot of us remember that who were around then.
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and i was a new senator at the time and i was completely shocked at what happened. they had a gauntlet, people walked through it. they were who are as the. they were hurt. they were distraught when it was over. so in the wake of the tailhook scandal, senior military leaders promised to crack down on the crime of sexual assault with then-secretary of defense dick cheney declaring a zero tolerance policy. so i want to show you how many times different secretaries of defense, democratic and republican, have promised they were going to take care of this. and when the military comes to lobby us against this, i say to them when are you going to embrace true reform, because for 20 years, we have been hearing this baloney, and i'm going to read it to you. secretary rumsfeld, january,
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2001, to december, 2006." sexual assault will not be tolerated in the department of defense." secretary william cohen, january 1997-january, 2001 -- "i intend to enforce a strict policy of zero tolerance of hazing, of sexual harassment and of racism." and that was january 31, 1997. secretary william perry, february, 1994 to january, 1997." we have zero tolerance for sexual harassment." and secretary cheney, 1989- 1993." well, we have got a major effort under way to try to educate everybody to let them know that we've got a zero tolerance policy where sexual harassment involved."
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i want to -- i just want to correct the record. when tailhook happened, i was in the house, and then when i got to the senate, right after, because it was 1-s and i got elected in 1992. i continued my work on this, and i have to be honest, i believe the military when -- i believed the military when they said it would never happen again. i said that's it, this thing is out and it will never happen again. i was wrong. and by the way, that's the worst thing a politician ever wants to say -- i was wrong. three words that you never want to say. i was wrong. i believed the pentagon. i thought they would take care of it. they never have taken care of it. now we have chuck hagel who is now lobbying against the kirsten approach, to my knowledge. it's not good enough to say we have a zero tolerance policy. we do. but what does that mean?
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how does that translate into changing anything? i want to know. well, he wants to know? i'll tell him. support the kirsten gillibrand amendment, change this, reform this, take these serious offenses outside of the chain of command. it's not working. leon panetta, july 11-february, 2013, we have no tolerance for any form of sexual assault. he didn't take anything outside of the chain of command either. secretary robert gates, 2006- 2011 -- "first of all, i have zero tolerance for sexual assault." really? really? every one of these men had zero tolerance for sexual assault, and yet not one of them ever lived up to the promise, not one. sexual assault is running rampant, running rampant. we have 26,000 cases a year, and
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you know what percent gets reported? 10%. do you know what cases don't get reported? 90%. we have a 90% problem, mr. president. 26,000 cases, only 10% get reported, and 90% don't get reported. so then you say why? why is it? and the answer comes back from the victims. nothing will happen. we will be revictimmized. we'll get blamed. they'll blame us. we'll get kicked out. we have to go to our commander. he's not -- he's not trained in this. please change it. to me, when a whole group of
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people who have been victimized tell you the reason why they won't report the crime, you ought to listen. you ought to listen. they know better than any senator. they know better than any defense department blue ribbon panel. they know better. and speaking of panels, there is a panel that has a funny name called dacowits, defense advisory committee on women in the services. and they have one job, and that is to recommend policies on how to help women in the military be better. guess what? they endorsed the gillibrand amendment. not one vote against. so how can senators -- and i have friends on every side of this, okay, on both sides of the
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aisle, but how can senators stand and -- with a straight face and say we can keep the status quo, when all the victims are saying no, when the one commission that has advised the military on women for 50 years says no, listen to the victims, listen to the group that advises the military. don't listen to the top brass who are running around trying to underminus, going to everybody's offices. they haven't come to my office, just for the record, because they know where i stand. and the first thing i do is look at them and say what would you do if this happened to your daughter? you know, what would you do? would you really tell her to report it to a commander who may be really friendly with the guy who did this? let me tell you, there is a
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moment in time when you really see an issue clearly, and it happens in funny ways, this woman who has been suggested to be the assistant secretary -- under secretary of the navy made a statement about this issue. and when i read you this statement, you will understand why the victims are so right. mr. president, if you hadn't heard about this, i want you to hear this, and i know you have worked hard on this issue. dr. joanne rooney, she is a nominee for under secretary of the navy, she was asked the following question -- "in your view, what would be the impact of requiring a judge advocate outside the chain of command to determine whether allegations of sexual assault should be prosecuted?" in other words, she was asked about the gillibrand amendment, should we take the prosecution of military sexual assault and
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other serious crimes outside the chain of command? listen to her answer, mr. president. this is the advertisement for the gillibrand amendment. she says -- "a judge advocate outside the chain of command will be looking at a case through a different lens than a military commander. i believe, she says, the impact would be decisions based on evidence." can you believe this? i believe, she says, the impact would be decisions based on the evidence. i ask rhetorically -- isn't that what justice is about, decisions based on the evidence? she goes on to say instead of preserving good order and discipline. well, i would argue, a, you base these decisions on the evidence, and b, i would argue there's no
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good order in discipline when you have 26,000 cases a year reported -- 26,000 cases of these sexual assaults happening, and only 10% reported. what kind of order is that? you've got thousands of perpetrators running around the military, and you have got thousands of victims scared to death, brokenhearted, broken down, broken spirit. and how do senators actually stand up here and say we're going to just keep it the way it is? we're going to turn our backs on these victims? listen to this story. this is a young woman in my state, and i stood next to her, i held her hand when she told this story. stacy thompson, she was drugged and brutally raped by a male sergeant while stationed in
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okinawa, japan. she reported the rape to her superiors, but her allegations were swept under the rug. while her attacker was allowed to leave the marine corps without ever facing trial, stacy became the target of a drug investigation, and this is why. her perpetrator drugged her and he dumped her on the street, left her on the street after being raped and drugged. he gets out of the military scot-free, and they start an investigation on her drug use, which she never used drugs except the drugs her perpetrator gave her. mr. president, i stood next to this young woman. she never told her story until -- and it happened in 1999 -- until kirsten gillibrand put her amendment forward. now, i also want to make a
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point. half of the victims are men. when i talk about 26,000 victims, half of them are men. these are violent crimes. and so here's the story of amando javier. he was serving the marine corps in 1993. he was brutally raped, physically assaulted by a group of fellow marines. ashamed and fearing for his life he kept his rape a secret for 15 years. when he finally found the courage to share the story with a friend, he wrote it down, and i'd like to read you some of his words, -- quote -- "my experience left me torn apart physically, mentally and spiritually. i was dehumanized, i was treated with ultimate cruelty by my perpetrators, i was embarrassed, i was ashamed, i didn't know what to do, i was young and being part of an elite organization that values brotherhood, integrity and faithfulness made it hard to come forward and and reveal what
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happened. so it's two decades later, mr. president, and not one person, not one has ever been held accountable for this heinous crime. the perpetrators are still out there and they are able to recommit these horrific crimes again. aryana clay, here's the last story. she graduated from the u.s. naval academy, she joined the 345r7bs. she deployed to iraq in 2008, following her return from iraq, she was selected to serve at the marine barracks in washington, a very prestigious post. it's right down the street from here. at the marine barracks she was subjected to constant call harassment. when she tried to report it, you know what the chain of command told her? deal with it. that's like telling a little child who is being abused somewhere, deal with it.
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that's the culture that my colleagues want to keep, deal with it? no, it's a crime. help 2 person -- help the person, go after the perpetrator, get a trained prosecutor to find out if it's true and if it's true, prosecute to the hilt. in august, 2010, that's two years later, she was gang raped by a senior marine officer and his friend who broke into her home. aryana, despite all the warnings, reported her assault but a marine corps investigation decided she had welcomed the harassment -- you know why? this is what they said. she wore makeup and she exercised in shorts and tank tops. what? the marine corps did court-martial one of aryana's
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rapists but never convicted him of rape. you know what he was convicted of? adultery and indecent language. please. how can anyone who listens to the victims say they're not going to vote for the kirsten gillibrand amendment? now, i want to tell you i stood with aryana along with a large group of colleagues, republicans and democrats, right here the other day. her husband is a former marine corps officer and he spoke at the press conference. and this is what he said, and it's so important to listen to what he said, -- quote -- "the first step to addressing sexual assault is to remove its prosecution from the chain of command. it is unfair to expect commanders to be able to maintain good order and discipline as long as the justice system incentivizes and empowers them to deny their unit's worst disciplinary
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failures ever happened. now, i'll tell you in his statement and it's up on youtube, and i really hope people will go and listen to it. in his statement, he talks about the fact that he was a commander, and he said as a commander -- and he was in the middle of war. and he said as a commander, i have one job to do and that's to is have a fighting machine that's second to none and i want you to know when i'm told about dealing with sexual harassment or a crime of any sort, i'm not trained to do it. it's a distraction. i'll give you his exact quote so you don't think i'm exaggerating. he said "i used to feel a commander's disinterest in the law, too. during my deployments to iraq -- did i say afghanistan before? i apologize. i focused on fighting. my life and those of my marines depended on it.
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legal issues were divisive yif, distracting and confusing. they made me resent those who brought them to my attention and feel bias strongs my relationships with those involved. commanders can be forgiven for thinking war is their most important job and should be expected they'll manage the judicial process as a side show and and as an annoyance. this is someone who served as a commander and is telling us it's not right to keep loading these commanders up with all of these different responsibilities when their main responsibility is to fight and win wars. so our bill, the kirsten gillibrand bill, it would take the decision whether to prosecute crimes like sexual assault out of the hands of commanders and give it to professionally trained military prosecutors outside the chain of command.
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mr. president, if something god forbid were to happen in your office or my office, something really bad, some crime, upstairs in a room somewhere in our office, we're not trained to deal with that. we would immediately call law enforcement to deal with it, wouldn't we? we're not going to decide who's right and wrong, one person saying he did it, one saying she did it, people are crying, yelling in our office, we're not -- it's not right. it has to be taken outside our office to the trained prosecutors to determine who is at fault. the chips will fall where they may. maybe you and i had a favorite of the two people that were involved in the altercation. we're not objective. and we're not trained for that, at least i'm not. it would be like saying a c.e.o. of a corporation should make a decision about whether one or
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more of her employees should be prosecuted for rape. that is not right. you don't have the decision made within the organization. it's got to be outside. so under our bill, complex legal decisions will be made by experience and impartial legal experts. because the decision to prosecute serious crimes should be based on evidence. nothing else should enter into it. evidence. and jo ann rooney made the point for us. she says, oh, yeah, she says essentially watch out, if you take it outside the chain of command it will be based on evidence, not on, you know, discipline. some discipline. some discipline. 26,000 cases and 90% go unreported. what kind of discipline? it's not discipline.
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people are getting away with it. they're getting away with it. now, the men and women who risk their lives every day deserve a better system. i can't tell you how many victims i have met, they were destroyed by the system, destroyed by that culture. it's -- it's men and women. they are begging us to act and tonight we had a chance to agree that we would begin debate and voting on this important amendment. it was objected to by the republicans. we need to get to the vote. and i hope when we do that we will have the votes necessary. now, i want to make a point there is a filibuster going on here, we're going to need 60 votes. we have over 50. let's be clear. we have over 50. and i'm really sorry that we
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have to get to 60, but there are those on both sides who are demanding that we get to 60. it's 20 years after tailhook. this is our moment to make the change that we should have made back then. it's time to stand up to all the people who say status quo, status quo, status quo. if the status quo were working, i'd support it. if the status quo were working, the victims would come forward. they wouldn't run away. and say i can't deal with this. think about the thousands of perpetrators that are running around the military doing this over and over again. think about when they get out and now they're on the street in civilian life doing it over and over again. if they think they can get away
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with this behavior, this abuse of power, this violence, this hurt, they're going to continue. so i hope colleagues will make the decision to stand with us, with our terrific bipartisan group that we have lined up behind this amendment, this gillibrand amendment. i'm very proud to have been working on this for a long time, and i think, you know, we're moving in the right direction, we're vote very close to 60 votes and i would urge any colleague that might be within the sound of my voice that if they haven't decided, meet with a victim, meet with a victims group, listen to their pleas. listen to how smart they are. they understand what happened to them. and they are begging us to stand up to the status quo. to the powerful pentagon. we are taking on the most powerful organization in the
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world. but on this, they're wrong. they're right on a lot of other things, but on this they are wrong and i look forward to proudly casting my vote for the gillibrand amendment. and, mr. president, i don't see anyone else waiting to speak. i would note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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odchealthlink.com quorum call:
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mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask
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that the quorum call be dispensed with. the presiding officer: without objection. the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the veterans' affairs committee be discharged from further consideration of s. 1471 and the senate proceed to its consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 1471, a bill to authorize the secretary of veterans affairs and the secretary of the army to reconsider decisions to inter or honor the memory of a person in a national cemetery and for other purposes. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection the committee is discharged and the senate will proceed to the measure. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the sanders amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amended be read three times and passed, and the motion to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask
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unanimous consent the senate proceed to the immediate consideration of calendar number 202, s. 1545. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: calendar number 202, s. 1545, a bill to extend authorities related to global hiv-aids and to promote oversight of united states programs. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection, the senate will proceed. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i further ask that the committee-reported amendments be agreed to as original text, the menendez-corker amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill as amended be read a third time and passed, and the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: thank you, mr. president. i now ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the consideration of s. res. 298,
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which was submitted earlier today. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. res. 298, to authorize testimony, documents and representation in united states v. allen. the presiding officer: is there objection to proceeding to the measure? without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the resolution be agreed to, the preamble be agreed to, and the motions to reconsider be laid upon the table with no intervening action or debate. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from california. mrs. boxer: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that when the senate completes its business today, it adjourn until 10:00 a.m. on tuesday, november 19, 2013. and that following the prayer and the pledge, the morning hour be deemed expired, the journal of proceedings be approved to date, and the time for the two leaders be reserved for their use later in the day. and that following any leader remarks, the senate be in a period of morning business for debate only for one hour, with
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senators permitted to speak therein for up to 10 minutes each, with the time equally divided and controlled between the two leaders or their designees. and that following morning business, the senate resume consideration of s. 1197, the national defense authorization act, with the time until 12:30 p.m. for debate only. and finally, that the senate recess from 12:30 to 2:15 to allow for the weekly caucus meetingsmenmeetings. the presiding officer: without objection. mrs. boxer: mr. president, if there's no further business to come before the senate, i ask that it adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate stands adjourned until senate stands adjourned until
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>> jeremy herb a staff writer for the hill, the senate's beginning debate on the defense programs bill, majority leader leeds said earlier this month he wanted the bill done by thanksgiving. how likely is that? >> well i think that's still an open question and we are hearing from senate aides that they don't think they will finish this bill. it's a sweeping pentagon policy bill authorizes more than $600 billion in defense spending and has a number of really controversial proposals this year that seem it unlikely that it will get done before thanksgiving. >> what are a couple of those proposals? >> the biggest one might be over
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iran sanctions. this week the six world powers including the u.s. are sitting down with iran to try to reach an agreement on its nuclear plant. the senate wants to push new sanctions and tougher sign shins on iran that the obama administration is warning could derail the whole talks so the plan for the republicans was to push those sanctions on this bill but you know on friday leadership aides were suggesting there wouldn't be enough time to finish the defense bill and have a vote on the sanctions. senators vitter held up a bill last week over his obamacare is minutes saying that reed was trying to turn his villains escape and said there wouldn't be enough time. >> another issue is sexual assault in the military. that is likely to come up as part of the bill. who is leading the effort on that and how is expected to be handled during the debate? >> military sexual assault has been a very vocal issue this year we do have democrats on both sides leading the charge. senator kristin gillibrand is
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prosecuting cases outside the chain of command. the measure has the support of 47 senators including republicans like ted cruz and rand paul as well as most women democrats in the senate. it suppose how or by senator claire mccaskill as well as leaders of the armed services committee, senator carl levin and senator jack reed so it's one of those debates that is not following along party lines. >> what are some of the other issues likely to come up? >> one of the things we are going to see a fight on his over guantánamo detainees. carl levin included in the bill in the last committee and easing of restrictions on transferring detainees out of guantánamo. republicans waited during committee to debate those that say they are going to pass an amendment on the floor that would strip leavens commissions out of the bill. we are also going to see probably fights over the nsa spying programs. back in july there was the defense appropriation bills on the floor and amendment was put
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on the floor to strip the nsa of its low-cost phones data collection programs. we don't know for sure that's going to come up but it's likely we will see some sort of amendment. >> what about the minimum wage and how will that come up during the debate? >> is going to be interesting to see how some of these nongermane amendments like the minimum wage bill wind up. senate armed services chairman levin urged colleagues to keep the bill is defense only. they're worried that if it doesn't get finished this week the senate doesn't come back from its two-week recess until december 9 in the house right now supposed to be adjourned for the year on december 13 which gives them almost no time to actually conference of bill with the house and get it finished. >> jeremy herb covers the dense policy for the hill. thank you. >> thank you. >> over a billion people and they know your political preference your sexual preference your friends are what you like and what your dog's name is all the source of
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hingson in fact one security analyst said if the government had asked you directly for that sort of information, it would have taken money, it would have taken lawyers and might have even taken guns to get you to cough up the information but we routinely do so on social networks. we also don't think about the fact that our google searches are tracked and so i also write mystery books. my google searches and if the fbi chose to look at that would be very incriminating. i'm looking at different date rape drugs and things like that for my mysteries and so people may be sitting there with their computer thinking they are engaged in some secret activity not knowing it's as if there were big eyeball in the other end keeping track of the things that you do.
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>> mrs. johnson as first lady love to show up her home. the guests to the ranch would often often formally gather in the den and various heads of state came to visit. we have a few things to speak to her connections to the room here. one of the thing things she wanted to highlight was the native american heritage here in the hill country and we do have a small collection of arrowheads over there. she has an eye for copper and collected various items through the years and gifts from various friends. mrs. johnson gave a tour of the house in 1968 that was filmed where she featured the china that you see here are just in mexico, very colorful. first lady is as johnson spent a lot of time at the ranch. it was such a respite from the turmoil of washington particularly later in the presidency where the johnsons could come home recharge their batteries and make that connection back to the land in this place that they valued so much.
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>> earlier today we talked about some of the issues with the social security administration and problems with recordkeeping that result in benefits being paid to people who are d.c.'s. this is from today's "washington journal." it's about 15 minutes. >> host: this is monday so we are doing a segment on your money this monday morning and it has to do with an accurate recordkeeping by the social security administration. specifically types of federal aid that are going to people who are deceased and the author of a recent piece in the "washington post" is with us at the table. he is david farenthold and thank you for joining us. the headline to your piece, why the dead get government checks in the right the u.s. government has a problem with dead people. for one thing it pays them way too much money. what's going on? >> guest: you would think this is one of the simpler acts of
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government to figure out whether americans are alive and deserving of whatever benefits they qualify for or dead and therefore not deserving of federal benefits. what we are seeing here is the system is meant to track who's get -- dead and who's not as broken so there are a lot of money checks that are sent to people who are dead and a lot of people who are alive that the federal government counts mistakingly as dead. >> host: 's in the past two years social security paid $133 million to beneficiaries who are deceased. an aid program spent $3.9 million in federal money to pay heating and air-conditioning bills for more than 11,000 of the dead treaty on to say that these mistakes are part of a surprising ledge at the heart of the federal bureaucracy. because of the jerryrigged and outdated system meant to track deaths the government has trouble determining exactly which americans are deceased. as a result washington is
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bedeviled. >> guest: that's right. the social security administration in charge of keeping a list. a list of who who's alive and who's dead and that falls to the social security administration but the problem is -- so they keep a list of everyone else uses. the farm services and federal retirement system everybody needs a list of who is alive and who is dead. the people to keep the list don't keep it well because they keep it for their own purposes. they really only care at the social security system whether you are dead and getting social security benefits. if someone calls reported death and the burson is not open enough they don't check to make sure the report is accurate the birth date and social security number and the name are accurate but they do put on the list that everyone uses. because of that dead people are not correct to the. >> host: federal payments to dead people from this piece in the "washington post."
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form subsidies $1 billion went out from 1999 to 2005, social security $100 million in the last couple of years, medicare $77 million in the last two years and housing benefits $13 million in 2008. any perspective on those numbers? >> guest: you will find people saying that those are small numbers in the role of the federal government. these numbers are really big in the government pays a lot of money to a lot of people said these numbers in perspective are small but the dead should not be getting anything. there's a lot of money spent on top of the money he described that goes into these payments and a lot of money spent trying to get back very their auditors and checksum secondary checks, there are court cases filed against people who steal benefits of having these mistakes in the system not only cost money that goes out but also the extra effort required to get some of it back. >> host: those gory guesses david farenthold a reporter for
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the "washington post." we will put the phone numbers on the bottom the screen. there are separate lines for democrats, republicans and independents. >> guest: choices the federal government could be making to cut back and look for easy ways relatively easy ways of sharing back spending and making government more efficient. i was looking for ideas like this and i saw government accountability office reports describing various pieces of the problem. payments to farmers who were dead and that got me into looking to see, too understandable system. what was most interesting to me was see the system set up and you could watch the system break down and see where the air's command. >> host: tell us more about the system. here's part of the peace. they came out monday december 4. sometimes it pays to be dead you write that you start with how deaths or tracked when a beneficiary dies. the death is recorded and reported to the social of security at administration by
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funeral directors family members in hospitals and maybe other sources. what is the problem with that? >> guest: the interesting thing is that states keep good track of who is dead. you have to give the state issued death certificates to bury somebody so the individual states have good records on who is dead. the trouble is trying to get the records up to the federal government to be organized in part of the problem is it's not just states the report deaths, its funeral homes and family members so sometimes there are more errors in those records. those get mixed in and not separated out. that's the first problem. >> host: there's the death master file, 90 million records used by federal agents and other federal agencies but court records provided by funeral homes and relatives and the like. why is it disorganize? wise and better organized after lazier's? >> guest: is basic lee something we have been talking about in washington for 30
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years. part of the problem is it's delegated specifically to social security administration to keep the file. they are not paid and they are funded at a level that would allow them to keep this list in perfect condition for everybody so they keep it for their own purposes. like i said they only check the deaths that have to do with social security beneficiaries people are getting money from the social security administration. think about like a sewage system or drinking water system. drinking water when all the waters clean even a little bit of sewage gets then they have to treated again. that's the way this works. air is given to the system in the pipeline in the beginning and nobody can separate them out. everybody has to pull off these records and try to use them like the office of personal management, people that do retiree benefits. they will get into the stream of data and they know it's not right. they have to put the effort into
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into -- it again. they do this every week to give an example. he retired the system gets a list of 800 to 1000 federal retirees who have appeared in the die, social security list but because the list is imperfect and has errors they can't take it as gospel and cut people off. they have to mail them them all a flutter. every federal retiree is mailed a letter saying are you really didn't? if the letter comes backside of the person says i'm not dead or relative says my father's has alzheimer's but he still live off in the records aren't check so you can pretend to be alive or pretend or relative is alive when they are actually dead and they don't catch you for years or decades in some cases. >> host: how big is the fraud he's? >> guest: the money we talked about, some of that piles up in unwatched accounts. after a while the federal government realizes there has been a mistake and goes back and gets it but when you look at these cases a bunch of fraud
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cases. sometimes a relative realizes i still have a credit card in grandma's account and access to this account that my grandma had had -- my grandma had. i talked to one person who said my relative got all this money and it kept piling up and i kept telling him the money is there but they didn't listen. finally this relative said i need money and the money was there. i've wrote it. that happens in these cases. people realize the money's there and start using using it but once you start using it you are committed. you are committed to stealing that money because if you tell anybody about it or try to shut it off you will be prosecuted. there are some cases and one i mentioned in the story for a guy in new hampshire's father died and he collected his benefits for 20 plus years until he died. it wasn't until the retiree junior died at that his wife figured it out. these cases can be over a million dollars in some cases and can last for years. >> host: let's go to the phones. fresno california ann democrat.
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you are a first. hi there. >> caller: .notice you showed on your screen, the printout, i was noticing a lot of funeral homes catch the social security and the business administration and they seem to do that faster before you can sit down to make funeral arrangements. funeral homes who plan to pick up the body of the deceased person. anyway, on that and on what they need to do too is find a way and people do notify social security or you know call up out the deceased or what have you as a family member, they need to when they send the checks back because that happened to my uncle. i found out from one of my aunts
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who is now also deceased but they take the va checks back and let them know they are deceased and i assume they marked on the mailbox that they are deceased. i know that they tell the mail carrier that they are deceased. there is a thing of the post office also letting them know that the person is deceased when they no they are not picking up their mail or what have you for a relative has told them. that way they need to send all that back. i hope they have gotten better over time but that was quite a bit of many checks that my uncle had received. they kept sending them out and they kept telling them that he was deceased. i don't know -- they didn't cash them and they just set -- kept sending them back and they realized it in everything.
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they accepted what she said and i assume she sent a copy of the death certificacertifica te to prove that my uncle was deceased. anyway, it's a whirlwind all this but the government should talk together and work together because social security is the one person that check some people social security so they need to have better communications with them. >> host: thanks ann. >> guest: absolutely right. in the beginning the funeral homes often funeral homes are the first people to notify the federal government. oftentimes it's faster than david that comes to. the trouble is often there are data that come in with less checks. we wrote in a story about a guy in utah who both his parents were still living. his mother died at the funeral home incorrectly told the government that the father had
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died so now the mother was getting condolence letters from the social security administration about the father who is still living and so this person described in detail, he tried to get his records corrected and get his father reinstated as a lie. they call it resurrection at the social security administration. he rocked his father to the social security administration and said here he is at her son. they made him sign the words i am alive and he signed it. that didn't work. happened once in the yet to go back for second time. i'm alive and here's my driver's license. ..
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>> history books and i have looked at the whitehouse and google searches if the fbi chose
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to look at them. i am looking at different date rape drug for my mysteries. and people may, sitting there with their computer, think they are engaged in a secret activity not knowing there was an eye ball on the other end keeping track of the things you do. and i have been shocked about some of the uses of information against you. life insurance groups are being advised to do away with blood test and look at their social fete network were profile. if you are an avid reader and i
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hope there are a lot out there because i write books but the idea is because you sit more a judgment is being made about you. >> what is web lining? >> that is a judgment made about you because you are part of a group. in the 1960s there was a phenomenon called red lining and blanks would put lines around where they don't want to incorporate there business. one man with a condo, paid off his credit card every month and had the limit lowered from $10,000 to $3,000 because she shopped at a place where other
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people were more likely not to may off their credit cards. it is putting you into a group and limiting your opportunities as a result of it. if i go to less expensive website like target and then sax fifth i maybe offered a less good credit card because the motion is i am not worthy of it. and web lining might be things like if a bank or airline knows by gender and they think women are more likely to be patient and hold on the line when they call in. so i maybe red lined and all of the members taken ahead of me
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and i will not know it is occurring when it is based on something i did on the web. >> who is doing the web lining, lori andrews? >> first we are to think about data aggregate and there is a company that has about 16 bits of information about 96 percent of americans. google scans your g-mail and looks at what you look up and what youtube videos you watch. they have 60 different services and combine data and make 90 percent of their income, $50 billion a year, providing that information to advertising companies. so website's and credit obamacacard
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companies are doing web lining. it might be as simple if your family entered are poorer zip code on a website, your child may be getting ads for trade schools instead of appropriate scholarship material for ivy leagues. so it is any service that mock makes judgment about going after and taking away benefits online >> you talk about web beacons and scrapers. what are those? >> there are a variety of mechanisms to find out where you go on the web. the first was cookies and they started off innocent so they could send your information
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without having to put in your information each time. but then it got out of hand. and some things came up every time you downloaded like aadoeb flash player. i was surprised to find out obama and romney put trackers on your computer to see where you went on the web. did you go to religious or porn sites. and they admitted they would look for target messages so you would be more likely to vote. i love dictionary.com and i had no idea it put cookies on my line to track where i went. i think it is out of line with other rights.
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i have privacy rights offline and a right to express myself, but if data is collected and used against me i am loosing them in the digital word. and thing about what the nsa ordering verizon to turn over the information on the calls. the government says it isn't a problem because they are not looking at the substance of the calls. but that goes against the 1st and 4th amendment. they can tell i am calling an abortion clinic or aids clinic. and in a supreme court case last year the supreme court decided that your location is private
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information. police need to get a warrant before they put a gps tracking device on your car. and justice sotomayor pointed out that data they are collecting from our cellphones reveals personal, sexual, professional and other connections. it can tell if we are meeting with a lover or competitive employer. it is all sensitive information. >> professor lori andrews. "i know who you are and i saw what you did" is the name of the book. you tell the story of a kodak theme in your book. what is that? >> this privacy issue is nothing new. you get people saying privacy is dead now there is social network.
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but every technology back to 125 years people said the samethi. so in 1888, the kodak theme was the first portable camera. you would have to go into a studio and pose if you wanted your picture taken before that. but when the portable came out in 1888, there were opt-eds all over saying watching out for the kodak theme. it is like tagging on facebook where your friends put up an unflattering photo. but the law caught up and the law said you have a right to not have your privacy invaded by someone coming on your property and taking your photos or doing ads with your photo.
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when wiretapping came along, cops used it without thinking they needed to have a warrant. and ultimately the supreme court said privacy is important and we should protect it. ultimately we will see more privacy protection in the social network world, perhaps something like they have in europe where you have to be told is f -- if if data is being collected geagain you. one law student in europe was able to ask facebook what information it had on them. he got 1600 pdfs of information and it showed facebook was collected everhing that was posted by him by friends and everything he deleted. so you can see the incredible
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image that people get about you and might come back to haunt you when you try to get a job. it isn't drunken hot tub photos that can be used against you. one woman sued her employer after an accident that required surgeries and pins in her neck was denied a right to sue because the judge said you were smiling in your photo. or in divorce cases, if a woman puts up a sexy photograph of her self the mom loses the because the judge takes it. in one a judge was trying to decide if he ask take custody from the a husband because he
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said he liked a video in which ronald mcdonald shot burger king in the face. and millions of people have liked that. so everything you say and do can be used against you. and like unlike vegas what happens there doesn't stay. >> courts are abdicating when you can't expect privacy on the internet since nothing is safe with hacking skills or data aggregation agenda. >> courts have forgotten the basis of why privacy is important. it is important because we develop relationships with people by parsing out information. when we are close to someone they know more information. we have our freedom of association by not letting
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everybody know what church, mosque or synagogue. someone could steal my mail but we protect the mail and letters. just because i walk through a part of the city where rape is more common we don't see she is not protected. dangerous doesn't mean we should give up our privacy rights. and courts are accepting at-state values what they find on facebook or myspace pages. usually courts have to say determine whether something is relevant to the case. determine whether it is
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authentic and now we have spouses making up facebook page and putting horrible things on it so they will get custody. and judges are not looking closely enough to see if it was the ex-husband or the wife. and not looking at whether oa photograph is a bad photo. the employers are not saying what are the skills. 30 percent say they will turndown someone with a drink in their hand on a facebook page. even an innocent drink at a wedding reception. so we are seeing this sort of failure to figure out that there is more to people than what they post. >> how does your book tie into your work as a law professor? >> i teach a course on the law
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of social network and i am involved in pro-bono cases and advising government agencies about their right and worker with legislators. so i have a great span of research assistance who are students and have put their online gravitations on the line by doing lots of work in this area and contacting data aggregation to see what information they have about them. doingthi -- do things like using the homeland security forbidden words and seeing what happens. we see hundreds of thousands being spent by the government to track us. homeland security has 350 words they look at in e-mails and one of them is guzman and that is
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because he is a drug lord. but it then sweeps in anybody else who has the last time. one term they look is organized crime. how useful is that? it is likely a mob leader would sign the letter love, tommy? so these are not making sense and cost money and put some add risk. >> who knows more about us? the federal government or private corporations? >> private corporations. google, facebook and data aggregation knows more about us because there is no constraint on them. we are seeing some pushback to government agencies and they have to comply with the 4th amendment and that says if i have a reasonable expectation of
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privacy i can keep my post private unless the government gets a warrant. that is not true with the government aggregation. the fbi went to a judge and said i want a warrant to turn on a suspect's laptop and take pictures of them. the judge said no. but private companies do this all the time. in pennsylvania a student gave laptops to the student and they didn't tell students or the parents the camera could be turned on from the school and it was only supposed to be turned on if stolen, but the i.t. department took 30 phot,000 pho
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and they are in bed and so forth. and the fbi said there is no criminal law against that. so we are all vulnerable to what institutions other than the gm can do. in europe there are more protections. not so here. although we have some people in office, ed markey, joe barton, al franken who are concerned about these issues. and the federal trade commission is considering a "do not track" law. we have a "do not call" list so why not a "do not track" law that weprevents people from
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tracking us without our advance position. i think it is good idea and find full of what dave berry once said and that was the "do not call" list was the greatest government invention second only to the elvis stamp. >> but you tell the story in your book, lori andrews, of a law student of yours who tried to disable all of the cookies that track him throughout his day and it took him forever. >> it does make you forever. and that is why i think the default should be opt-in rather than opt-out. you have to try to figure out which company put them on and you cannot find out. go to the company and say could you take me off. and then there is a perverse things as some company with the "do not track" achieved this guy putting the cookie on there.
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and if you disable them it puts you back into the tracking. right now being able to opt-out is like coming home from a hard days work and there are 30 strangers in the house and i have individually ask each one to leave. i think it should be out -- o opt-in -- only. for children under age 13 you cannot condition being in the website or the social network on giving up your right to privacy. and another thing was you couldn't go own certain websites unless agree to cookies
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>> if you had to foresee a supreme court case around these issues, what do you foresee? >> there are a couple things. justice sotomayor has hinted she would like to look at the fact that third party surveillance, so if someone else remotely turns on my laptop camera, the police can use those pictures. so she is thinking maybe we should reconsider this doctrine about the police being able to use it after not being able to get it. but we will see cases where there have been financial losses based on information collected ability them that is not true. just because i shop at a bargain website isn't someone who doesn't pay off their bills. most people don't realize this
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is occurring and have not been able to come forward and say i lost a job or a mortgage as a result. but we will see people who are tech-savvy finding out the cause and those cases going to court. >> in your book, "i know who you are and i saw what you did," you have a social network constitution, what is that? >> we have a bill of right off the web that has a right to privacy and freedom of expression and i want to rights to go online and it is way to build a foundation for judges who are willing to rule in this direction to have grounds to do it. and way to let people know what the slippage is. one thing is that i never anticipated when i started writing this book i would see social network getting in the
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way of a right to a fair trial. but even though you are only supposed to make judgments on what comes into the courtroom, jurors use google to search the crime scene or find out what the witnesses myspace page said and making judgments based on external information that has no relevanc relevance. if i googled a corner where a murder was thought to have occurred i might see the witness was able to see because there was a lot of light on the corer. lawyers might not even know the juror is doing that and can't correct it saying it was raining or the light was knocked out. and you have jurors posting the facts of the case on facebook
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and asking their friends to vote up or down about whether we should fry this guy or criminalize him. so i think i am trying to make jud judges aware that basic individual rights like to a fair trial, freedom of privacy and association are being denied. and move the conversation along like it was with the kodak theme 125 years ago. >> in the constitution, one of them is the right to connect. no government shall abridge the bright to connect or monitor exchanges over the internet or code them as to sources or content. is that occurring today? >> well we are seeing more and more governmental backdoors into the websites.
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i was astonished how in the arab springs president obama actually stated that we have a right to use social networks. that it is a right like the freedom of association and press. he was saying it in response to the fact that when protest began in egypt the egyptian government shutdown down the internet and knocked people off twitter and facebook so they could not organize. so president obama was indicating we would never do that. we are seeing that is not the case and the government has been keeping track in some way and i think that is inconsistent with our democratic principles and we need a discussion. i work in genetic technology as well and police just didn't
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start a giant forensic database of following everybody around and seeing where they spit. he had a discussion about whose dna should be collected and we determined it was people who had committed crimes and were more langley -- likely -- to commit other crimes. everybody is going into the a database and i think we need the same discussions and protections we need in the genetic area. >> we have been talking with lori andrews and she is a professor of law at the illinois institute of technology and she is the author of this book: "i know who you are and i saw what you did." you are watching "the
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communicators" on c-span. >> we will discuss bit coin this week and david wolman is our guest. you can read the website at the washington journal website. you can watch live or tweet questions at 9:15 eastern on c-span. >> if you are a middle or why school student, our video competition wants to know the most important issue congress should address. make a 5-7 video and include c-span video for your chance to win. deadline is january 20th.
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>> secretary john kerry talked to today and his comments on u.s. policy in latin america are about half an hour. >> mr. secretary-general, thank you very, very much. thank you for a wonderful welcome on this absolutely beautiful, luscious, seductive fall day, as pretty as it gets, and one that's quickly prompting all of us to ask why we're at work today. i'm privileged to be here. i want to thank the inter-american dialogue. thank you, michael shifter, and thank you, ambassador deborah-mae lovell for the invitation to be here. i want to thank the organization
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of american states for inviting me to speak here this morning. and it's always wonderful to be in this remarkable, beautiful, historic building. a few minutes ago, we were down below in the atrium and secretary-general insulza took me over to see the peace tree that president taft planted more than 100 years ago. it's a remarkable tree, and ita testimony to the deep roots of the oas, which is the quintessential multilateral entity of the americas and has its origins obviously dating back to even before that peace tree was planted. i was tempted to tell a story about william howard taft who - and a famous introduction that
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he made - but i'm going to spare you that particular story - but it's a very funny one, and worth at some point sharing with you. i'm delighted to be in the company of former trade representative carla hills. great to be here with you. and i'm particularly proud to be here with our assistant secretary roberta jacobson, who does such an outstanding job with respect to all of the western hemisphere, has come - just come back from china on a dialogue in china regarding the western hemisphere and latin america particularly. since i became secretary of state, i've had the privilege of speaking in some beautiful rooms like this in about, what, 30 countries all over the world. but i cannot tell you how nice it is to speak in one where i get to drive for two minutes instead of fly 12 hours. it makes a difference.
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the fact is that this is a very important moment for all of the american states. fifty years ago, president kennedy spoke about the promise of the western hemisphere, and in what would become, sadly, his final address on foreign policy. president kennedy expressed his hope for a hemisphere of nations, each confident in the strength of its own independence, devoted to the liberty of its citizens. if he could only see where we are today. in the half century since he spoke, more and more countries are coming closer and closer to realizing his vision and all of our hopes. when people speak of the western hemisphere, they often talk about transformations that have taken place, but the truth is one of the biggest transformations has happened
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right here in the united states of america. in the early days of our republic, the united states made a choice about its relationship with latin america. president james monroe, who was also a former secretary of state, declared that the united states would unilaterally, and as a matter of fact, act as the protector of the region. the doctrine that bears his name asserted our authority to step in and oppose the influence of european powers in latin america. and throughout our nation's history, successive presidents have reinforced that doctrine and made a similar choice. today, however, we have made a different choice. the era of the monroe doctrine is over. (applause.)
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the relationship - that's worth applauding. that's not a bad thing. (applause.) the relationship that we seek and that we have worked hard to foster is not about a united states declaration about how and when it will intervene in the affairs of other american states. it's about all of our countries viewing one another as equals, sharing responsibilities, cooperating on security issues, and adhering not to doctrine, but to the decisions that we make as partners to advance the values and the interests that we share. as the old proverb says, la union hace la fuerza. the union - in unity, there is strength. through our shared commitment to democracy, we collectively present a vivid example to the
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world that diversity is strength, that inclusion works, that justice can reject impunity, and that the rights of individuals must be protected against government overreach and abuse. we also prove that peace is possible. you don't need force to have fuerza. the vision that we share for our countries is actually within our grasp, but we have to ask ourselves some tough and important questions in order to secure our goal. first and foremost, will we together promote and protect the democracy, security, and peace that all the people of the americas deserve? second, will we seize the chance to advance prosperity throughout
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the western hemisphere and educate the young people who will drive the economies of the future? and third, will we together meet a responsibility that requires more strength, and thus more unity than ever before, and thereby effectively address the threat posed by climate change? now, how we answer these questions will determine whether or not we can actually become the hemisphere of nations that president kennedy envisioned, each country existing side-by-side, confident, strong, and independent and free. the first question is actually answered by the broad protection of democratic values that have become the rule and not the exception within the western hemisphere. in a few short decades, democratic representation has,
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for the most part, displaced the repression of dictators. but the real challenge of the 21st century in the americas will be how we use our democratic governments to deliver development, overcome poverty, and improve social inclusion. last summer, i traveled to brasilia, and as i was leaving my meeting with the foreign minister, i was greeted by a group of protestors. now, i don't speak portuguese - my wife does, i don't - but i did understand the four-letter words that they yelled because they were in english. (laughter.) and as jarring as it can be sometimes, that moment was actually the picture of a healthy democracy. and today, it is our shared democratic values that have enabled us to weather challenges like the understandable concerns around the surveillance
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disclosures, concerns that prompt us all to figure out how we're going to get through and build a stronger foundation for the future based on our common democratic values and beliefs. successful democracies depend on all citizens having a voice and on respecting those voices, and all governments having the courage and the capacity to listen to those voices. we can be immensely proud, i think, of this hemisphere's democratic trajectory and of the institutions that we built in order to hold ourselves to the future and to be accountable. that is the difference, and to hold ourselves to the oas charter.
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and we also express our concern when democratic institutions are weakened, as we've seen in venezuela recently. in march of this year, the united states joined with many of you right here in this very room, as a matter of fact, to affirm the independence and the mandate of the inter-american commission on human rights. we have also joined together to support the oas electoral observation missions throughout the hemisphere, including the one for the election in honduras next week. all of us here have an opportunity to help assure that this election is transparent, inclusive, peaceful, and fair,
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and that the process is one that the honduran people could actually rely on in order to express their will. we - all of us - must do everything that we can to support the oas efforts to provide assistance and impartially observe the there is no better expression of our strength and unity than following through on that effort. we also know well that the critical ingredient of a successful democracy is how we provide for our security at home for all of our citizens. safe streets, safe neighborhoods, safe communities, really do depend on upholding the rule of law. in june, i went to guatemala and i met with attorney general paz y paz. she has made extraordinary progress in combating corruption and organized crime, protecting women from violence, and prosecuting human rights violations. in august, i traveled to bogota and i saw a remarkable demonstration of colombia's sacrifice and progress in the fight against illegal drugs and violence, a fight which has actually made it possible for president santos's courageous effort to achieve sustainable
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and just peace. i think it is undeniable what our unity of purpose is. step by step, making our democracies stronger and our people more secure - in guatemala, in colombia, and throughout the and for the most part, i think you'll agree with me the western hemisphere is unified in its commitment to pursuing successful democracies in the way that i describe. but one exception, of course, remains: cuba. since president obama took office, the administration has started to search for a new
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beginning with cuba. as he said just last week, when it comes to our relationship with cuba, we have to be creative, we have to be thoughtful, and we have to continue to update our policies. our governments are finding some cooperation on common interests at this point in time. each year, hundreds of thousands of americans visit havana, and hundreds of millions of dollars in trade and remittances flow from the united states to cuba. we are committed to this human interchange, and in the united states we believe that our people are actually our best ambassadors. they are ambassadors of our ideals, of our values, of our beliefs. and while we also welcome some of the changes that are taking place in cuba which allow more cubans to be able to travel freely and work for themselves, these changes should absolutely not blind us to the authoritarian reality of life for ordinary cubans. in a hemisphere where citizens everywhere have a right to be able to choose their leaders, cubans uniquely do not.
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in a hemisphere where people can criticize their leaders without fear of arrest or violence, cubans still cannot. and if more does not change soon, it is clear that the 21st century will continue, unfortunately, to leave the cuban people behind. we look forward to the day - and we hope it will come soon - when the cuban government embraces a broader political reform agenda that will enable its people to freely determine their own future. the entire hemisphere - all of us - share an interest in ensuring that cubans enjoy the rights protected by our inter-american democratic charter, and we expect to stand united in this aspiration. because in every country, including the united states,
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each day that we don't press forward on behalf of personal freedoms and representative government, we risk sliding backwards. and none of us can accept that. even as we celebrate the democratic values that have spread throughout latin america, we must also acknowledge where those values are being challenged. after all, timely elections matter little if they are not really free and fair with all political parties competing on a level playing field. a separation of powers is of little comfort if independent institutions are not able to hold the powerful to account. and laws that guarantee freedom of the press, freedom of expression, and freedom of religion are of little consequence if they are not enforced. democracy is not a final destination; it is an endless journey. and every day, all of us must renew our decision to actually
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move it forward. and we are no less immune to that reality here in the united states than anywhere else; in fact, in recent days, perhaps even more susceptible to it. we've also - all of us - got important decisions to make about how we bring about shared economic prosperity - the prosperity to which we all aspire. to start with, educational opportunity, above all, must be a priority. it is only with widely available, high-quality education that our workforce, the workforce of the hemisphere, will be equipped for the jobs of the future. education, as we all know, opens up other doors as well. as former senator j. william fulbright said: "having people who understand your thought is
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much greater security than another submarine." that's the idea behind the state department's fulbright exchanges. and it is the idea behind president obama's 100,000 strong in the americas initiative, which is aimed at increasing the flow of exchange students in both directions here in the western hemisphere. but my friends, education, as we know, is only the first step. we must also press even harder to help create jobs and economic opportunity for our young people for the day after graduation comes and goes. our hemisphere is already, as the secretary general mentioned
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in his introductory comments, a thriving market of nearly a billion people. over the past decade, the economies of latin america and the caribbean grew at a rate of 4 percent a year. the united states is proud to play a role in this. just last week, we announced more than $98 million in private financing for 4,000 small- and medium-sized businesses throughout the hemisphere in order to encourage this energy and create it and keep it moving. and the kind of growth that the region is experiencing fueled by sound economic policies, innovative social programs, and increased international trade and investment - that growth has dramatically improved the lives of all of our citizens. in the past decade alone as trade has grown between the united states and latin america - nearly tripled - more than 73 million people, as the secretary general mentioned, have been lifted out of poverty. think about that. that's more people than live in canada and argentina combined. it's an extraordinary story, and
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it's a story of success. it's a story of policies that are working but need to be grown, not moved away from. imagine what is possible if we continue to open up trade and investment in our children's futures. when i was a senator, i was very proud and pleased to vote to ratify both the colombia and the panama trade promotion agreements, which president obama signed into law. and we're already seeing the growth that these agreements made possible. during the first year of the u.s.-colombia fta, nearly 800 colombian companies of all sizes entered the u.s. market for the
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very first time. these new exporters sold their goods and services in more than 20 different american states. and today, vice president biden is traveling to panama to visit the canal expansion project that will continue to spark increased trade throughout the region. under president obama's leadership, we've also helped expand the region's participation in the trans-pacific partnership, taking it beyond chile and peru to include canada and mexico. and we have redoubled our commitment to nafta, the greatest single step toward shared prosperity in this hemisphere, which i am pleased to say also i voted for at a time when i think people remember it was very contentious and very difficult. but all of us know - can't rest on those agreements alone. that's not enough. we know we can do more. and if we do more, the western
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hemisphere will continue to be a leader in the global markets for decades to come. one of the opportunities that is staring at us that i just mentioned a moment ago about these many opportunities - one of those opportunities is a $6 trillion market and has 4 billion users. i'm talking about the new energy market - biggest market in human history. the market that created such extraordinary wealth in the 1990s where in america, in the united states, every single quintile of american income earner, from the bottom right through to the top - everybody saw their incomes go up. and we all know it was a time when we balanced the budget three years in a row. it was a time of extraordinary growth. the market that drove that growth was a $1 trillion market with 1 billion users - the
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high-tech computer, home computer model. that was the market - technology. the energy market is six times that market. and the 4 billion users today will grow to 6 billion, ultimately 9 billion between now and 2050. it will help us to answer the third and final question that i mentioned - whether or not we will leave to our children and grandchildren a planet that is healthy, clean, and sustainable. actually, this is not so much a question as it really is a
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compelling challenge, the challenge of a generation, maybe even the challenge of a century, maybe even the challenge of life itself on the planet if you digest adequately all that science is telling us today. more than two decades ago, i visited brazil as part of the u.s. delegation to the rio summit. this was the first time that the global community came together united to try to address climate it was also the trip where i got to know an amazing portuguese-speaking woman named teresa, who three years later would become my wife. so i like rio. it's a good place. (laughter.) but teresa and i still talk about a young 12-year-old girl from vancouver named severn suzuki, who took the stage at that summit in order to, as she put it, quote, "fight for her future." twenty-one years later, i still remember what she said about climate change, as follows: "i'm only a child," she told us, "yet i know we are all in this together and should act as one single world towards one single goal." severn understood something that a lot of folks today need to
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grasp, something still missing from our political debate, like the saying goes that i said a moment ago, la union hace la fuerza - we need that more than ever now with respect to this challenge of climate change. decades later, we have a lot to learn from that young woman. the americas have become the new center of our global energy map. our hemisphere supplies now one-fourth of the world's crude oil and nearly one-fourth of its we support over a third of global electricity. and what that means is that we have the ability and the great responsibility to influence the way that the entire world is to do this, it will require each of our nations to make some very fundamental policy choices.
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we need to embrace the energy future over the energy of the past. and i am well aware - i've been through these battles in the united states senate - i know how tough it is. i know how many different industries and how many powerful interests there are to push but we, people, all of us have a responsibility to push back against them. climate change is real. it is happening. and if we don't take significant action as partners, it will continue to threaten not only our environment and our communities, but as our friends from the caribbean and other island nations know, it will threaten potentially our entire way of life, certainly theirs. the challenge of climate change
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the challenge of climate change will cost us far more for its negative impact than the investment that we need to make today in order to meet the challenge. every economic model shows that, and yet we shy away. our economies have yet to factor in the monetary costs of doing nothing or doing too little. the devastating effects that droughts can have on farmers' harvests; the hefty price tag that comes with rebuilding communities after every catastrophe, after every hurricane or tropical storm tears through them and leaves a trail of destruction in their wake; the extraordinary cost of fires that didn't burn as ferociously and as frequently as they do today because of the increased dryness; the increasing signs of loss of water for the himalayas as the glaciers shrink; and therefore, as the great rivers of china and other countries on one side and india on the other are threatened as billions of people see their food and food security affected. these are real challenges, and
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they're not somewhere in the future. we're already seeing them now. for all of these reasons, combating climate change is an urgent priority for president obama and myself, and we know that we are one of the largest contributors to the problem. there are about 20 nations that contribute over 90 percent of the problem. that's why president obama unveiled a new climate action plan to drive more aggressive domestic policy on climate change than ever before. and the good news is the agenda that he's put together is one specifically designed to be able to be done by administrative order so you don't have to wait for congress to act. many other nations in the western hemisphere are also working hard to do their part as
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well. and i'm proud to say that as part of the energy and climate partnership of the americas, the united states has collaborated with more than two dozen countries, latin america, and the caribbean in order to support effective programs to address the reality of this grave threat. but if we take advantage, my friends, this is not a threat where there is not a solution. we have a solution, a number of them staring us in the face. we just don't make the political decision because of these forces that push back. we know what the alternatives are. we know the advantage of the enormous breakthroughs that are happening in clean energy. and if we share expertise and deploy new technologies throughout the region, if we connect the electrical grids throughout the americas, then we can share and sell power to each other at different points of time in different ways with a more vibrant marketplace. if we harness the power of the wind in mexico and the biomass in brazil, the sunshine in chile and peru, the natural gas in the
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united states and argentina, then the enormous benefits for local economies, public health, and of course climate change mitigation could reach every corner of the americas and beyond. this is what a new inter-american partnership is really all about. sdwl you are watching c-span two. on week nights watch key events and authors on book television. ...
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>> is far more than a matter of cosmetics. to me, it describes the whole effort to bring the natural world into harmony. to bring usefulness and the light to our whole environment and that of course only begins with trees and flowers and landscaping. >> that's from a film created by the johnson administration with lady bird johnsolk

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